Can You Get Inspiration from '007'?
I don't know where you stand on the debate of what happens more frequently; life imitating art, or art imitating life.
I was torn until I started reading and learning about all the devices that appeared in James Bond movies before the general public knew about their existence.
The new James Bond film Skyfall hits theaters November 9 and there is no telling what new technology 007 and the "Bond Girls" will be showing off. Chances are there will be a few gadgets that maybe 10-15 years from now, you will have the opportunity to own.
Who else is going to be watching? Probably the CIA.
At the CIA, the Office of Technical Services considers itself "America's Q." Robert Wallace, who directed OTS until 2003, says the only difference between James Bond technologies and those that the CIA relies on to conduct its daily business is as Wallace says, "In the Bond movies, much of the equipment has an explosive characteristic."
So what are the Bond technologies that I speak of, that are now as commonplace as a paperclip and a Post-it Note?
Let's take a look
The Laser (1964 - Goldfinger)
Many people had never heard the term "laser" before 1964, and if they had heard it, they had no idea what it would do. An early scene in the movie featured an industrial laser and it even released a press release with the movie that said "is sure to give the laser its greatest international publicity as a scientific development of great power and worth in the modern world."
The Beeper (1963 - From Russia With Love)
Yes, the beeper/pager phenomenon started in a James Bond movie, 11 years before Motorola came out the Pageboy, the first commercial pager in the U.S.
Videophone (1967 - You Only Live Twice)
Now with Skype and Facetime, we don't twice about video face to face communication, but the first videophone appeared on screen in a car in the thriller, You Only Live Twice.
Video Conferencing (1983 - Never Say Never Again)
With apps like GoToMeeting, we think nothing of video conferencing and webinars now.
Taking and Sending Pictures over a Cellphone (2002- Die Another Day)
We do it everyday now. James Bond was doing it before we were. I wonder what the resolution of those pictures was?
GPS on a Boat (1999 - The World is not Enough)
Bond uses a global navigation system on a speedboat that allows him to take a shortcut through London. Talk about turn-by-turn directions.
LCD Television (1983 - Octopussy)
Bond fans get a glimpse of the future back in 1983, as the general public had never seen an HDTV.
Surveillance System for a Casino (1971 - Diamonds are Forever)
It is thought that casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and around the world picked up some tips and implemented some ideas from the advanced security and surveillance system shown in this Bond flick. Maybe we should also watch Oceans 11.
Anti-Radar or Stealth Techniques (1979 - Moonraker)
May seem common now and I'm sure the military had it before this, but this movie brought this out into the open. You think some military types were cringing when this came out?
Other devices the CIA has used:
A hollowed-out Soviet coin, roughly the size of a silver dollar. CIA agents would use the coins to stash secret material, unscrewing them and hiding large quantities of text inside that could be viewed later under a microscope. Other clandestine tools include ball-point pens configured with tiny cameras, and paper that dissolves in water. Agents shred the paper, drop it into a beverage and drink the liquid to make evidence disappear.
What can tech companies and those looking to create a startup in Georgia take from this?
You might be able to win a bet at a bar trivia event, but you also must realize you can get inspiration and ideas in the strangest places. It might be a movie, it might be a baseball game, it might be listening to your iPod.
The ideas are staring right at you. James Bond was always looking to the future and embracing the latest in technology, and you should to.
Whether you are a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, you might be able to get something from James Bond.
In the 1967 movie, 007 found out You Only Live Twice. For those of us not on the silver screen, we only have one life and once chance. Maybe some day you'll be taking your Aston Martin out for a quick spin and enjoying you martinis shaken, not stirred.